Essential guide for all anglers in handling landed fish: Preparation for handling landed fish:
- Large unhooking mat and weigh sling soaked in lake water.
- Tripod and scales set up.
- Klinik readily available.
- In Summer months bucket of lake water.
- Camera ready.
- Once the fish is in the landing net it may be exhausted so make sure the fish is sitting upright in the net and not rolling over to one side:
- Check the rig as sometimes a barbless hook will fall out in the net, if not the hook should be visible just inside the mouth and with the fish still being tired it is a good time to unhook it.
- The fish can now be lifted out of the water.
- The best way is to detach the arms of the net from the pole and roll the net a few times making sure that the line is not wrapped around the fish.
- Lift and hold the fish on the surface with one hand and run your other hand under the bottom of the net to make sure all the fins are tucked up and not sticking out as this will avoid broken and split fins.
- The fish is now ready to be lifted from the water onto your unhooking mat.
- If the hook had not already been removed, unhook it now and get it in to the weigh sling as quickly as possible. This is a good time to give the fish a once over and check for wounds or damage and apply an antiseptic such as Klinik.
- If there is excessive damage try and contact one of the Bailiffs.
- If the fish should struggle be firm but gentle in restraining it. If it struggles vigorously gentle lift it off the mat until it stops struggling.
- You are now ready to weigh your fish.
- The use of a tripod is perfect for weighing larger specimens.
- If no photos are required then return the fish to the water immediately.
- If a photo is required this should be done as quickly as possible, dousing the fish with lake water during this time and returning it to the weigh sling before taking it back to the lake.
- Carry the fish to the water in the sling and release from the sling but support the fish in your hands.
- When the fish has righted itself and got it’s bearings only then should you let the fish swim from your hands.
Please remember these are your fish and you are responsible for their welfare, so following this simple procedure will ensure their safety and minimum of stress before being returned to the water.